Sensei Taalai is the head coach at Barakah Judo and additionally coaches at South Tampa Jiu Jitsu Club. He was also part of the Kyrgyzstan Judo National team and several times champion of the Kyrgyzstan National competition. He participated in international level competitions. and is recognized as a 5th degree black belt by USA Judo and the International Judo Federation (IJF).
He is a retired military officer who also has 5 years of military Russian Sambo training in the Russian military Academy as well as serving as a judo instructor for the team. Trained and was an instructor in Lackland AFB Judo team (San Antonio, Texas).
Mr. Crocker began his judo career in 1973 at the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) in Jefferson City, Missouri under head judo instructor, Daniel Russell of Mid-Missouri Judo. After Sensei Russell relocated to Chicago, Sensei Crocker continued studying judo under Randol Russell, Daniel Russell’s brother. Mr. Crocker still continues his study of judo under Sensei Russell.
Mr. Crocker is a 4th degree black belt in judo and a 2nd degree black belt in jujitsu spanning over 40 years in the study of judo. He competed at the local, regional, national and international level in judo as a competitor and continues teaching and coaching today in Kimura Judo, his judo club. Sensei Crocker was the head judo instructor of the Jefferson City YMCA from September 1997 until December 2001. During this time, he also developed the Jefferson City Parks and Recreation Judo Program as head judo instructor from August 2000 to December 2001.
Mr. Crocker has a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Business Administration and Economics, and Masters of Business Administration degree in management, from Lincoln University, Jefferson City, Missouri. He also studied at the University of Central Missouri and University of Missouri.
Sensei Crocker pursued a long time career in marketing and public health in Missouri state government retiring in 2007. During his time in state government he had several articles published in major public health journals. Sensei Crocker also has a distinguished military career in the United States Army. His military service spans over 28 years serving in many assignments until his retirement in 2007. He is a combat veteran of Vietnam, and served in Desert Storm, Operation Enduring Freedom, and Operation Iraqi Freedom. He holds many awards and decorations.